Jason Kidd said he doesn’t think the lower shooting percentages around the NBA can be contributed to the league’s new basketballs.
But the Dallas Mavericks’ coach does think playing a lot of games in a short period of time could be a contributing factor.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the 2019-20 season didn’t end until the Los Angeles Lakers captured the NBA title in the bubble in Orlando on Oct. 11, 2020. Then the 2020-21 season started on Dec. 22, 2020, and ended on July 20 when the Milwaukee Bucks won the NBA championship.
Then, this season started on Oct. 19. In other words, the downtime between seasons was not what players were accustomed to.
“We’re on our third season,” said Kidd, who was an assistant coach with the Lakers when they won it all in 2020. “The Lakers just, in October, celebrated a one-year anniversary of winning a championship, so we’re on our third season. That’s a lot of basketball.”
The other factor for the anemic shooting is the rule changes where calls players were used to getting are not being called.
“I think the players are trying to figure out how the games are going to be called,” Kidd said. “Is it going to be what we see today where the physicality is at a very high level? Or is it going to go back to where it used to be. I think there’s a lot of elements to this – just not the new ball.
“I think the turnaround is one, in my opinion, and then the physicality of the game on how it’s being called.”
In his rookie season in 1994-95, Kidd remembers how physical the game was played.
“Hand-checking was around, body blows were around, physical contact in the air was around,” he said. “A lot of those were side-outs – we didn’t get to shoot free throws. But you’re kind of seeing the physicality of the game right now, and so we’re making the adjustments to that.
“Now do we stay that way? We’ll find out here shortly. If enough people complain, will it go back to where it was the last couple of years?”
BURKE MISSED TESTING WINDOW: For the second time in less than a week, guard Trey Burke missed the window to take his COVID-19 test. Thus, he was forbidden from dressing for Tuesday’s game against the Miami Heat and will have to forfeit one game’s paycheck.
Burke also missed the window for a COVID-19 test last week, forcing the Mavs to sit him for last Thursday’s game against with San Antonio Spurs. In that case, he was available to fly with the Mavs to Denver after that game, and was available to play in Friday’s contest against the Nuggets.
When asked about talking to Burke about adhering to the COVID-19 testing protocols, Kidd said: “It’s something that we’ve talked and we have addressed. Not just today, but we addressed that in Denver.
“It’s something that’s the law right now, in a sense of that’s his responsibility. Unfortunately, this is his second time missing that window. The league will take the check and then we have to move forward. But for us as the Mavs, we can only talk about it, so he has a responsibility to show up on time.”
LUKA’S SLOW START: Coach Jason Kidd said it’s not fair to question Luka Doncic’s slow start. Especially since the fourth-year point guard has virtually carried the Mavs the last three seasons, and also got his home country of Slovenia to the bronze medal game at the Tokyo Olympics this past summer.
“That’s a big responsibility, too, for one person to have to carry,” Kidd said. “I think we all believe he comes to work ready to play, but to just rely on him to be perfect every game, that’s just not fair. And to question his starts, because a lot of time we won’t go back and talk about Game 3 or Game 5 (of last season’s playoffs against e Los Angeles Clippers).”
Doncic went into Tuesday’s game against Miami averaging 22.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists, an was shooting 42.7 percent from the field and 23.8 percent from 3-point range. Kidd, in essence, isn’t worried that Doncic will find his shooting touch.
“Sometimes it’s just the nature of who they are,” Kidd said. “Some (players) can get off to a fast start and can be a rabbit and kind of fizz at the end of the season. Some start slow and kind of go and get better as the season goes and finish strong.
“I think sometimes at (age) 21 and 20 and 22, you want them to be perfect, and unfortunately there isn’t anyone perfect. It’s something, I think, as he gets older he will look back and say ‘Do I need to get off to a better start?’ “
PORZINGIS, KLEBER UPDATE: Forward Kristaps Porzingis missed his fourth consecutive game Tuesday night with lower back tightness, and will be re-evaluated to see if he’ll be healthy enough to play in Wednesday’s game in San Antonio.
Unfortunately, the news is not so comforting for forward Maxi Kleber.
That back strain Kleber sustained in he opening seven minutes of Sunday’s 105-99 win over the Sacramento Kings has been changed to a left oblique strain.
Coach Jason Kidd said of Kleber, “He’s out today and tomorrow and then the update will be in 7-10 days.”